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Green Cove Springs, Florida

Green Cove Springs (population 7,500) sits along a bend in the St. Johns River, an "American Heritage River," in rural northeastern Florida, about 35 miles south of Jacksonville. The town dates from the mid-1800s and got its name from its always-green trees, the quiet cove created by the river bend and the area's natural springs, once thought to be the original Fountain of Youth.

In the early days, tourists came from around the region to partake in the healing waters and stayed in grand hotels rivaling those found in New York and Chicago. Some smaller hotels still stand today. The sulfur-scented spring waters now flow into a popular public swimming pool before making their way to the river. The pool is the centerpiece of a lovely waterfront park with a bridge.

Downtown has palm trees, red brick streets, shops, eateries and a theater. Town leaders are making plans for more development. Neighborhoods are shaded by tall pine trees. Green Cove Springs has grown by 8% in the last decade.

Cost of Living

Green Cove Springs is a reasonably priced town with an overall cost of living 2% less than the national average.

The town is 8% less expensive than St. Augustine, Florida, 23% less expensive than Austin, Texas and 5% less than Raleigh, North Carolina.

The median household income is $42,776.

Real Estate

The median home value in Green Cove Springs is $215,000. This is a 3.6% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $248,850.

Estimates are that Green Cove Springs values will decline by 1% over the next year.

The median rental price is $995 per month.

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Taxes

The combined sales tax rate for Green Cove Springs is 7%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates.

Florida has a 6% state sales tax on vehicle purchases and Clay County tacks on another 1% of the vehicle's first $5,000 in value.

Florida's property tax homestead exemption reduces the assessed value of a home by $50,000, so a residence that is really worth $100,000 is only taxed on $50,000. Residents age 65 and older who meet certain income limits may receive an extra homestead exemption of up to $50,000.

The property tax rate is approximately $1,040 per $100,000 in assessed value. The taxes on a $215,000 home are approximately $2,236 without a homestead exemption.

Florida does not tax Social Security.

Desire a Nicer Home Without a Mortgage Payment?

If so, consider a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase. This is a reverse mortgage that lets people age 62+ purchase a new home by using a reverse mortgage.

How does it work? Buyers must put down approximately 45% to 62% of the new home's purchase price, depending on the buyer's age and other factors. This money usually comes from the buyer selling his current home. The rest of the purchase funds come from the HECM loan.

For example, a person sells his home and nets $250,000 from the sale. With a HECM for Purchase Loan he can then buy a new $450,000 home by putting down $225,000 (50%), keeping $25,000 cash in his pocket and financing the remaining $225,000 home price with the reverse mortgage loan. Best yet, the buyer will have no monthly mortgage payments.

Talk to a reputable reverse mortgage lender for more information.

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